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The Mother House is the hub of the Order of St Raymond Nonnatus and is the home of the head of the order Mother Mildred. It also has an adjacent orphanage run by the nuns.

Overview[]

In Series 1 Sister Monica Joan is diagnosed with pneumonia and everyone fears she may die and Sister Bernadette decides to call in Mother Jesu Emmanuel as she is the next of kin for Sister Monica Joan due to her family estrangement. Mother Jesu brings her mothers jewellery for comfort, in the end Sister Monica Joan responds well to treatment and makes a full recovery. However she gets into trouble with the police for stealing from market stalls due to her dementia. At first it may seem like she will get off as the things she stole were petty but when the other sisters find the jewellery she must stand trial. Jenny and Jimmy go to the mother house to find Mother Jesu for her to testify and she reveals the truth about the jewellery not being stolen and Sister Monica Joan is not charged.

The mother house is seen only briefly in series 3 when Jenny Lee was sent there to recuperate and take in the loss of her boyfriend Alec Jesmond where she is regularly sent letters and gifts of partly eaten cake by the others at Nonnatus House.

Cynthia Miller wonders whether she should become a nun as she feels called to that life but still hasn’t made her mind up, in the end she decides to do it and leaves for six months as a postulant at the mother house. She takes her novice vows and the house itself is seen when Sister Evangelina who was recovering from a fibroids operation sees her off to her new life as a nun.

The Mother House and Sister Monica Joan are two subjects that sometimes go together, as Sister Monica Joan is retired due to dementia she fears going back to the mother house out of fear they won’t let her return to Poplar as she does not work often pretending to be sick in situations she must go to avoid it. Sister Ursula contemplates sending her to the mother house full time for proper retirement but nothing comes of it.

The mother house makes it’s largest appearance in the 2018 Christmas special when Mother Jesu Emmanuel is diagnosed with a brain tumour and is given months to live, so the three sisters in residence at Nonnatus prepare to go to vote in the new superior and Sister Julienne fears people see her as the prime candidate. They are also escorting Chinese orphans from Hong Kong with Sister Mildred who had been nursing there for some time to the mother house to spend some time there before going onto their permanent homes. Among them is May Tang who’s planned family didn’t turn up and it turns out her planned family was diagnosed with TB and needed to spend twelve months in a sanitorium. Mother Jesu Emmanuel confides in Sister Julienne that she hopes it will be her that takes her place. When it was time for the voting another is chosen for the job, Mother Mildred as she would be known from then. Sister Winifred who bonded with the children in the orphanage remains there to help look after the children, especially a boy named Neil who was brain damaged and not put on the list for adoption who she takes a particular shine to. May also finds a home with the Turners who agree to foster her.

As they were down on staff, following the tragic death of Barbara Hereward, the departure of Sister Winifred and with no one replacing Sister Mary Cynthia Mother Mildred agrees to send two extra sisters to Nonnatus House those being Sister Hilda and Sister Frances, the latter having only just qualified and took her vows but soon after proves herself. From there the mother house is frequently mentioned and the nuns occasionally go there for holidays, the house got a new resident when Brenda Donnelly was invited to live there with her daughter as according to mother Mildred you don’t need to be a child to be an orphan. In the 2022 Christmas special Sister Hilda returned to the mother house off-screen, her absence makes extra work for Sister Frances who on a delivery falls off her bike and fractures her shoulder, at the hospital Sister Julienne realises it was wrong to work Sister Frances so hard and decides to send her back to the mother house for rest and prayer.

Residents[]

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Members of the order (O.S.R.N)[]

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Known Branch houses[]

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